All About the Thanks Project

Those of us who are parents know about caregiving. Though our level of caregiving is in what we think of as the “natural order” of things. Parents care for their children. At least until those children are old enough to care for themselves.

Then there comes the time in life when we must care for those who once cared for us. I have learned a lot about that from my fabulous friend Dresden, who willingly gave up a terrific career and moved across the country to care for her grandmother after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Dresden is a force. She is bright. She is tender. And she is strong.

Taking care of an older parent or grandparent can mean anything from handling their bills, to helping them with meals, to driving them to appointments, and more. My own mother is dealing with this now as she and my uncle are the primary caregivers for my grandmother, who relies on them tremendously.

Right now in the United States, 42 million people between the ages 40 – 60 (primarily women) are faced with the challenge of providing care to their older loved ones in some way each and every day.

It is so important for caregivers to take care of themselves too. New research from AARP suggests that caregiving can take a tremendous toll on a caregiver’s personal health and general wellbeing. Many caregivers do not self-identify as such, so they can be reluctant to ask for help. Fortunately, there are some great, helpful resources, tools and experts available for caregivers at aarp.org/caregiving.

The Thanks Project is an online platform that enables caregivers to publically recognize the parents whom they care for. Each individual ‘thanks’ will be integrated into the interactive tapestry, representing the 42 million caregivers in the US. Caregivers everywhere deserve to be recognized for the important work that they do. Especially as Father’s Day approaches this weekend, you can honor the parent you care for by visiting ThanksProject.org.

Thanks to the Ad Council and AARP for supplying the information regarding these caregiver tools.

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Comments

  1. This is something I worry about being able to do and do WELL with my parents as they get older. Great information to share. Thank you.

  2. SarahPeppel says:

    My mother was there for my dad and I struggle with knowing I may not be there for her! I hope when the time comes she can move near. I knew when I moved away 23 years ago that it would be tough if I didn’t go back and I didn’t.

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. I worry about things like this when my parents get older. I am thankful that I live closeby if they should ever need me.

  4. My husband and I have already talked about how we would help take care of our parents as they age. I’ve witnessed how both rewarding and taxing it can be when my sister-in-law and brother cared for her Grandmother for two years.

  5. Raising 2 kids with special needs myself, and watching my sister caretake both our parents through illnesses before they passed, I know how important it is to take of yourself as well – and how easy it is to forget. I’m sure I will need to remember this for my mother in law, who already struggles with her health in her 60s, but at least I have some experience already.

  6. What an inspiring link party! I haven’t seen one like this before, and I think it’s a great idea!

  7. What a neat idea. My husband and I have thought long and hard about how we will help our parents when it comes time.

  8. My mother is currently struggling with caring for my grandmother, who has dementia/Alzheimer’s. It’s complicated by the fact that my grandmother lives across the country. This is something that is going to reach crisis-level in our country very soon, and I applaud you for raising awareness.

  9. I love the idea of the Thanks Project. It is such a wonderful way to express their love. We cared for my husband’s parents for 2 years and would do it all over again. My first time to this link and it is great!

  10. Angela S says:

    While my mom is still in good healthy, she already lives with me. This is such an inspiring project.

  11. I think this is a great cause, Something we may all face in the future.

  12. It’s not easy to think about, but there will come a time where you will become the caregiver of your parents and it’s not an easy change.

  13. Thankfully my parents are still young and live close by!

  14. I know so many people who are caregivers to other family members and they always put themselves last on the list. You’re right – they need to think about themselves.

  15. Maria Oller says:

    We sent my dad monthly money for everything that’s need since my mom past away he suffers from dementia so me and my sisters feel quite responsible, since I cannot help taking care of him (distance) We sent as much as we can for it, I think the thanks project is amazing

  16. That’s exactly where we are in my family with my mom. It hurts to see the decline, but she cared lovingly for us for so many years. It’s our time now.

  17. Ruby Ragar says:

    Thank you for the great info. I’ll pass it on to my friends.

  18. I never thought about this really, caring for my parents and my husbands parents. Definitely something my husband and I should discuss.

  19. What a sweet campaign. I lost my Dad 8 years ago and miss him terribly. Those who care for their parents are really something special.

  20. What a wonderful campaign!

  21. I love this idea! Great campaign — thanks for sharing it.

  22. My sister and I started care taking our parents when we were really young. It was difficult, but we still managed. We love our parents, so we never minded.

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